By Chris Williams: Manny Pacquiao took to social media on Thursday to ask his loyal fans who he should fight next. He says he misses training, and wants to return to the ring soon for his next fight.
If Pacquiao faces the opponent that his fans select for him, he could be in over his head. If they pick someone a little too good like Errol Spence Jr. or Terence Crawford, it might end badly for him.
There are likely opponents that the fans will be asking Manny to face next:
- Errol Spence Jr.
- Shawn Porter
- Terence Crawford
- Mikey Garcia
- Danny Garcia
- Amir Khan
- Keith Thurman
Pacquiao’s shortlist of his potential opponents for his next fight are likely these two:
- Amir Khan
- Mikey Garcia
Pacquiao must choose wisely
This isn’t the first time Pacquiao has asked his boxing fans to pick his next opponent. He did this two years ago, and at that time the fans wanted to see him face Amir Khan. However, instead of Manny facing Khan, his promoters at Top Rank matched him against stable fighter Jeff Horn in July 2017 in Brisbane, Australia.
It ended badly for Pacquiao with Horn roughing him up for 12 rounds, and controversial decision. In hindsight, Pacquiao would have been better off if he’d listened to his fans, and taken the fight with Khan.
In Pacquiao’s case, he might not be willing to face someone like Terence Crawford or Errol Spence. If his fans pick someone that he’s not interested in facing, he’ll likely go with another choice. The belief is that Pacquiao will be fighting Mikey Garcia next.
Normally this would be an excellent choice for Pacquiao, not at this time. Mikey is coming off of a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision to Errol Spence Jr. last March, and he hasn’t fought since. It wasn’t a great effort for Mikey, as he fought in a safety first manner, and looked like his whole focus was on not getting knocked out.
Spence or Crawford would be excellent options for Pacquiao
Fans are mostly telling Pacquiao that they want to see him fight IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. next. However, Spence has already offered Shawn Porter a rematch after narrowly beating him by a 12 round split decision on September 28.
Lightweight Vasiliy Lomachenko would be a great choice for Pacquiao as well, but it’s a fight that would be difficult to make. Lomachenko fights at lightweight, and he might not be willing to meet Pacquiao at 140. Even if Pacquiao were to drop down to 135, it’s possible that Loma wouldn’t take the fight. There’s too much of a difference in power and speed between them. Manny has more physical strength and speed. Lomachenko’s technical talent wouldn’t be enough against Pacquiao. Loma knows his limitations, which is why he probably won’t take a fight against Pacquiao or Devin Haney.
Manny coming off win over Thurman
Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) is coming off of one of his biggest career wins in defeating unbeaten WBA Super World welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) by a 12 round split decision on July 20 on Fox Sports Pay-Per-View in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A lot of boxing fans thought Thurman, 30, would have too much youth for him, but Manny surprised him in winning by the scores 115-112, 115-112 for Pacquiao, and 114-113 for Thurman. Manny knocked Thurman down in round 1, and then later hurt him with a body shot in round 10.
I miss my fans. I miss training camp. Can’t wait to be back soon. What fight do you want to see next? #TeamPacquiao
— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) October 3, 2019